Harris v. State

CourtSupreme Court of Georgia
Citation119 Ga. 114,45 S.E. 973
PartiesHARRIS. v. STATE.
Decision Date08 December 1903

45 S.E. 973
119 Ga. 114


Supreme Court of Georgia.

Dec. 8, 1903.


1. In order for this court to control the discretion of the trial judge in refusing to grant a motion for the postponement of a criminal case to allow counsel to prepare for trial, it is necessary that it should appear that a gross mistake has been made by the trial judge, or that he has displayed a want of consideration for the rights of the accused.

2. The evidence for the state authorized, even if it did not demand, a finding that the accused was guilty of murder. His statement was, in effect, a plea of guilty of this offense. The requests to charge, so far as legal and pertinent, were covered by the general charge. The charges excepted to were free from error, and no sufficient reason has been shown for reversing the judgment overruling the motion for a new trial.

(Syllabus by the Court.)

Error from Superior Court, Pulton County; L. S. Roan, Judge.

John Harris was convicted of murder, and brings error. Affirmed.

S. C. Crane, for plaintiff in error.

C. D. Hill, Sol. Gen., and Jno. C. Hart, Atty. Gen., for the State.

COBB, J. On the night of October 3, 1903, H. C. Drasbach, a policeman of the city of Atlanta, was killed while on duty, wearing the uniform of the police force of the city. Within a few days after the killing an indictment was preferred by the grand jury of Pulton county, charging John Harris with the murder. On Sunday, October 18th, the accused was arrested in the state of South Carolina, and, having been brought to Atlanta, was, on the Monday morning following, arraigned in court under the indictment. He indicated a desire to plead guilty, but the court refused to permit this until he had conferred with counsel. It was then made to appear to the court that he was not able to employ counsel, and the court appointed two members of the Atlanta bar to represent him, and announced to the accused and his counsel that the case would be called for trial on the following morning. At the time this announcement was made, neither the accused nor his counsel asked for more time. When the case was called on the morning of the 20th, one of the counsel appointed to represent the accused asked for a postponement of the trial, in order to give counsel time to prepare the case for trial. The court inquired if counsel had any witnesses they desired brought into court, and they replied that there were none, so far as they knew. Upon being asked on what grounds they desired a postponement, they failed to inform the court of any reason why they were not then as ready for trial as they ever would be. The court then announced that the postponement would be refused unless counsel would assign some reason why more time should be allowed, and, counsel failing to assign any reason, the court ordered

[45 S.E. 974]

the trial to proceed. Counsel then asked the court for one hour in which to confer with their client and...

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11 cases
  • Johnson v. State, 52647
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • September 28, 1976
    ......        The law vests the determination of questions relating to the time of trial in the discretion of the trial judge, and this court will not interfere with his ruling on the subject, unless it is manifest that there had been an abuse of discretion. Harris v. State, 119 Ga. 114, 116, 45 S.E. 973. In this . Page 775. case the trial court was warranted in concluding that the course of justice was being and would continue to be thwarted by the unexplained absence of retained counsel. The judge did not abuse that discretion by substituting counsel who ......
  • McKenzie v. State, 30665.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 8, 1945
    ...777, 79 S.E. 1128, 1129, and cases cited therein, wherein the Supreme Court stated: 'As was said in the case last cited [Harris v. State, 119 Ga. 114, 45 S.E. 973]: 'Undue haste in the administration of the criminal law is as much to be condemned as unnecessary delay. The true course lies b......
  • Mclendon v. State, 16497.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • February 16, 1949
    ...it is manifest that there has been an abuse of discretion on the part of the trial judge. Illustrative of such rulings is Harris v. State, 119 Ga. 114, 45 S.E. 973, where it was held: "In order for this court to control the discretion of the trial judge in refusing to grant a motion for the......
  • Starr v. State, 17896
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • July 14, 1952
    ...discretion of the trial judge and will not be interfered with unless abused.' Porch v. State, 207 Ga. 645, 63 S.E.2d 902; Harris v. State, 119 Ga. 114, 45 S.E. 973; Moore v. State, 202 Ga. 357, 43 S.E.2d 251; Smith v. State, 198 Ga. 849(1), 33 S.E.2d 338; Cannady v. State, 190 Ga. 227, 9 S.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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